Chanting

The chanting of mantras or sacred syllables as part of the path to realization
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    As American as Apple Pie? Paid Member

    "This is vulgar," A. pronounced loudly into my ear. "This is vulgarity itself." We were standing under an arch in the gymnasium of a public school in Manhattan in June 1971. Fifteen clean-cut, energetic young men were waving their arms about vigorously, leading the audience in a song called "Have a Gohonzon,"* set to the Jewish song "Havah Nagila": Have a Gohonzon, Have a Gohonzon Have a Gohonzon, Chant for awhile. You'll find your life will be Full of vitality, Watching your benefits Grow in a pile ... *Gohonzon: In Japanese, honzon indicates an object of worship. Go is an honorific prefix. Nichiren Daishonin embodied "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo," as a mandala (Sanskrit for an object or altar on which buddhas and bodhisattvas are represented). The Gohonzon may  More »
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    The Buddha of Infinite Light and Life Paid Member

    Taitetsu Unno, professor emeritus of religious studies at Smith College, is one of the major figures in post–World War II American Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. Besides his numerous scholarly publications on Buddhism, his books River of Fire, River of Water: An Introduction to the Pure Land Tradition of Shin Buddhism (Doubleday, 1998) and Shin Buddhism: Bits of Rubble Turn into Gold (Doubleday, 2002) have helped many people to discover the riches of this major Buddhist tradition. More »
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    Faith in Revolution Paid Member

    DAISAKU IKEDA is President of the Soka Gakkai International, the world’s largest Buddhist lay group and America’s most diverse. In a rare interview, Ikeda speaks to contributing editor Clark Strand about his organization’s remarkable history, its oft-misunderstood practice, and what its members are really chanting for. More »
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    The Form of Compassion Paid Member

    It is said that the Enlightened Ones possessed of the omniscient eye of wisdom can state with certainty exactly how many drops of water have fallen during an uninterrupted twelve-year rainfall but that they cannot calculate the benefit that comes from a single sincere, perfectly focused, and pure recitation of the six-syllable mantra of Chenrezi, the Bodhisattva of Compassion: Om mani padme hung. Chenrezi, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. The goal of deity practice is to develop qualities that mirror those represented by the deity. Avalokiteshvara (detail) Dorje and Sunlal Talang, 2006 © Robert Beer More »
  • The Heart Sutra Paid Member

    THE GREAT PRAJNA PARAMITA HEART SUTRA More »
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    Mantra: Tool for Thinking Paid Member

    The Sanskrit word mantra combines the root man (“to think”) with the suffix tra (“instrument” or “tool”). Therefore, mantra means literally “tool for thinking.” Since earliest Buddhist times, the repetition of sacred phrases has been used as an aid for meditation—to purify and focus the mind, to offer devotion or thanks, and to protect and nurture the spiritual activity of a particular person or place. Some authors differentiate between bijas, or “seed syllables” (pure sounds, such as om); “mixed” mantras, which combine bijas with words having translatable meanings; and dharanis (phrases that are similar in function to mantras but can be translated word for word). More »